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Fecal dysbiosis associated with colonic hypersensitivity and behavioral alterations in chronically Blastocystis-infected rats

Abstract : Background: Infectious gastroenteritis is a risk factor for the development of post-infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS). Recent clinical studies reported a higher prevalence of the intestinal parasite Blastocystis in IBS patients. Using a rat model, we investigated the possible association between Blastocystis infection, colonic hypersensitivity (CHS), behavioral disturbances and gut microbiota changes. Methods: Rats were orally infected with Blastocystis subtype 4 (ST4) cysts, isolated from human stool samples. Colonic sensitivity was assessed by colorectal distension and animal behavior with an automatic behavior recognition system (PhenoTyper), the Elevated Plus Maze test and the Forced Swimming tests. Feces were collected at different time points after infection to study microbiota composition by 16 S rRNA amplicon sequencing and for short-chain fatty acid (SFCA) analysis. Results: Blastocystis-infected animals had non-inflammatory CHS with increased serine protease activity. Infection was also associated with anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors. Analysis of fecal microbiota composition showed an increase in bacterial richness associated with altered microbiota composition. These changes included an increase in the relative abundance of Oscillospira and a decrease in Clostridium, which seem to be associated with lower levels of SCFAs in the feces from infected rats. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that experimental infection of rats with Blastocystis mimics IBS symptoms with the establishment of CHS related to microbiota and metabolic shifts.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 11:12:43 AM
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Manon Defaye, Céline Nourrisson, Elodie Baudu, Amandine Lashermes, Maeva Meynier, et al.. Fecal dysbiosis associated with colonic hypersensitivity and behavioral alterations in chronically Blastocystis-infected rats. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 10 (1), pp.9146. ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-66156-w⟩. ⟨inserm-02884871⟩

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